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A Positive Surprise

The results of a positive surprise can create a culture of support, caring, and positivity within an organization. While people prefer predictability and consistency from those they work with and follow, they make one important exception. This is when they are surprised, in a positive way, for a positive act done for the team. Team members appreciate leaders who surprise them positively. A positive surprise from leaders always shakes things up a bit, and may bring a few smiles, laughter, and a general feeling of connection within the group. Team members relish surprise because it activates their senses and allows them to feel appreciated.

They quickly conclude the only reason why a leader would act out of the ordinary and engage in a positive surprise is because they care about people and their happiness. As a result, they feel more connected and committed to the source of their delight…the organization, their peers, and the leadership. It should not be a surprise that we are drawn to people who positively surprise us.

The best surprises are simple. They are the expressions of those who value others and their everyday happiness. Some of these "simple surprises" may include: Showing up to support someone at an event or activity, saying “thank you” or “good job”, a recommendation for a film, television show, podcast, or book, or possibly a link to a favorite website, recipe, Instagram account, or social media page. I am sure you can think of other expressions you can try.

In a world that values consistency and predictability, positive surprises can have a profound impact on how leaders and team members connect. Good leaders use positive surprise to elevate relationships and tell people they matter. It just takes a little creativity and an abundance of caring. Two important items to remember. Here is #1: When we care about our people, they care about the process...when they care about the process, the quality of the product has the potential to be exceptional. Here is #2: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care…maybe the easiest surprise to give is to show that you care about your team, organization, and those who you have the opportunity to lead. Who will you surprise today?

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